What you're missing is the context in which the letter was written and delivered.
Basically, Ratzinger, speaking for JPII, was granting RC church recognition to this group of American Anglicans who were distancing themselves from official ECUSA stances on homosexuality and other matters.
This is at about same time the RC Church had pulled out of Anglican/RC ecumenical discussions over the current issues -- officially, they were no longer on speaking terms with the ECUSA.
Ratzinger, writing to the conference in the name of JPII, blatantly bypassed Frank Griswold, and mentioned his "solidarity" with these Anglicans.
It was, and is, a huge deal.
I wonder if the Orthodox ECUSA coalition joined the catholic church then would the catholic church put their enormous legals resources to help them keep the physical assets of the parishes.
Do you think we'll see in the next few years a reconciliation with the Church of England and conservative Episcopalians? I'd love to see out bretheren come back to the fold!